Is Your Tabby a Tiger in Disguise?

Is Your Tabby a Tiger in Disguise?

Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Florida, on her Cat Chat Show.
I have been a fan of this great organization for a long time. They provide a home for more than 100 exotic cats and are dedicated to ending big cat abuse. I've read Carole's story of how she got started and the learning she went through as the organization grew. One of the things I admire about Big Cat Rescue is how smart Carole has been about making sure the organization can provide for the cats. It takes a lot of money, time and dedication to care for big cats. It's not a mission for the faint of heart. A number of the cats at her facility came from other rescues that just couldn't provide for the animals.
One of the things that drew me to Carole was her very honest account of learning to care for the big, and not so big, cats in her care. Especially when it came to feeding them. She describes going through different diets, which included at one point a zoo kibble food. I was fascinated to learn that besides having trouble even getting the big cats to eat it, the cats experienced many of the same issues that companion cats do when fed poor, carb-laden, diets: poor coats, less energy, digestion problems. She kept looking for the healthiest diet to feed her charges. And she finally found it. She now feeds a raw meat diet to the big cats that is very similar to what we recommend for little cats: a ground meat/bone/organ mix with supplements and whole meats including meat with bone. Take a look at her article "There's No Kibble Served at Big Cat Rescue" to read her story. Don't forget to watch the great video on what it takes to feed just the lions and tigers. Makes feeding your little household carnivore seem like a piece of cake. Watch the lions and tigers eat those chunks using their side teeth to slice it up – that's exactly what your cat needs to do.
We often use the phrase "Cats Are Cats." This is what we are talking about. All cats should be eating a diet that's close to what they evolved to eat, whether they are big or little. People almost automatically think of a raw meat diet when they think of big cats. We are working to help people realize that they should also think raw meat when they look at what their little cat should eat.
The interview was conducted via Skype. Many thanks to Carole for giving me the opportunity to talk about my favorite subject – cat food!
Margaret Gates is the founder the Feline Nutrition Foundation.
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